South East Recorder ISSUE 16 - Page 49

THE HEALTH AND SOCIAL BENEFITS OF HORSE RIDING Not only is horse riding an excellent opportunity for us to get outdoors, to enjoy the fresh air and to form a bond and working relationship with a beautiful and powerful animal, but the activity is also fantastic for those seeking a new hobby or form of exercise. mental wellbeing. A natural stimulator of the mood enhancing hormone serotonin, horse riding has the same antidepressant effects as the phenomenon called ‘runner’s high’ in which a reduction is found in stress hormones. It can also increase confidence and self-esteem for having learned new skills and abilities and many horse riders find themselves strongly Horse riding is a fun, highly sociable and motivated to continue by the sense of wellbeing they stimulating activity that can benefit everyone: men gain from interacting with horses. and women, old and young, able-bodied and LESSON TYPES disabled. The activity strengthens and tones your important muscles, improves posture and provides a relaxing cardiovascular workout; simply trotting on horseback can burn as many calories as a lunchtime workout at the gym! Stable work and grooming can also provide a great workout, strengthening muscles and increasing cardiovascular capacity. In fact, Sport England estimate that participating in horse riding and associated activities for 30 minutes or more at least three times a week will help an individual achieve or exceed the government’s recommended minimum level of physical activity. Although horse riding has many physical benefits and advantages, it has also been known to improve We are a small, friendly riding school and livery yard set in the beautiful countryside of Northington, nea